Wilbekin on point for UF
Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 2:24 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 2:24 p.m.
Florida junior Scottie Wilbekin said he vaguely remembered former UF point guard Justin Hamilton.
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Asked if his approach to point guard will be similar to Hamilton, Wilbekin responded: “He played good defense, didn't he? I guess you could say that.”
Wilbekin is taking the reins at point guard this season in place of three-year starter Erving Walker, who graduated last May and is playing in Italy. Walker left UF fourth on the school's all-time scoring list (1,777) and first in assists (547). But at 5-foot-8, Walker also was picked on by opposing teams defensively because of his lack of size.
The more athletic, 6-foot-2 Wilbekin embraced his role as a defensive stopper in his first two seasons off the bench. In limited time, Wilbekin already has posted 58 career steals. Hamilton, who started at point guard at UF from 2001-03, finished his career with 164 career steals.
“Everybody is just going to see something different than they've seen from a Florida point guard in the last three years,” Wilbekin said. “I love playing defense and I love making energy plays.”
A career 38.8 percent shooter, Wilbekin spent the offseason working on his offense. He got up about 400-500 shots each day. Florida coach Billy Donovan said Wilbekin posted the second-highest 3-point percentage during the offseason, behind just senior Erik Murphy.
Wilbekin is aware he will need to provide more offense to complement his defense.
“My overall confidence has went up, with two years under my belt I kind of know the flow of the college game a little bit better,” Wilbekin said. “I understand what Coach D wants and I'm able to translate that onto the floor better now.”
Wilbekin always has been steady with his decision-making at the point. His career assist-to-turnover ratio is more than 2 to 1 (122-50).
“Scottie is going to surprise a lot of people this year,” Florida senior guard Kenny Boynton said. “Scottie, in workouts, he's looked really good. I think if he brings what he's done in workouts to the game, then Scottie will definitely fit into the position.”